Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Odd Decoration

Somebody threw a lot of junk at this wall, and it stuckYou know how some restaurants like to spew pop culture up on their walls? TGI Friday's is notorious for this, among others.

A couple of weekends ago, my wife and I were at a TGI Friday's in Tulsa. We were seated at a table that had lots of non-wall-ish items screwed into it. There was a skateboard, an old Coke advertisement, lots of pictures, ... and a laptop.

Toshiba Tecra 500CDTI had never seen a laptop screwed into the wall before. It was an old Toshiba Tecra 500CDT.

Just for fun, I reached up on the wall and tried out the keypad. The keys still worked. I doubt seriously that the machine itself did, of course. Three large screws through the motherboard is seldom helpful.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Mad Dogg Smells Funny

Late last week, the stress of a large deadline was looming ... er... large. Sometimes when the stress builds up like that, people get loopy. This was one of those times.

StressyWithout going into too much detail, this is what happened shortly before lunch that day. I was in a bit of stressy mood. I made a change to the web site we are working on, and I uploaded it to the test server. I immediately checked the page I had uploaded, and discovered that I had made a significant error. The test site was down. I could see what I had done wrong right away, and started to reach toward the mouse so I could fix it.

Mad Dogg*ring!!!* My phone went nuts. No more than 6 seconds had passed. I picked up the phone, and there was good ole' Mad Dogg, laughing and shouting, "Put it back!" I said "OK" and hung up on him.

I reached toward the mouse again. *ring!!!* Again, my phone was going nuts. Again, it's Mad Dogg. Still laughing, he said, "No really, see, what happened is..."

I know how to fix this error!Did I mention I was in a bit of a stressy mood? I interrupted him, and said words to the effect of, "I cannot fix the error to which you refer while I am on the phone with you discussing the aforementioned error."

That's the summary, anyway. The actual version was longer, and had lots of short words in it. Once again, he got hung up on.

The error was fixed. The Jeff attempted to breathe regularly. It wasn't going well.

Come get me!Shortly after this, I found myself upstairs in the office occupied by Mad Dogg (among others). Mad Dogg wasn't at his desk, and the guy I was there for was making me wait... and Mad Dogg's computer wasn't locked.

Remember back in paragraph 1, where I mentioned people going loopy? Well, I pretty much just meant me. I saw an opportunity to get a small measure of revenge against Mad Dogg, for his crimes of getting yelled at and hung up on twice. Loopy, I tell ya.

He had a code window open. I pressed "Enter" a few times, and then in the new blank space in his code, I carefully typed out;

You smell like butt"Mad Dogg smells funny. Love, Jeff."

Two hours later, he finally noticed and I got a phone call from him. Two hours? Just how hard are you workin' up there anyway, M.D.? ;)

Monday, February 26, 2007

Karaoke Night

What do you get when you mix my 'bud PossiblySatan with a Caribbean cruise and the sweet proximity of alcohol? You get this.

Ladies and Gentlemen, the incredible, incomparable, incomprehensible, and infinitely braver-than-I, PZIDDY!

Wintersmith - by Terry PratchettBy the way PZiddy, I finished reading Wintersmith this weekend. Hilarious throughout... I had to put it down a couple of times to stop laughing. Rob's gag at the end was magnificent.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Silly Story

I heard this story a few weeks ago. I am quite certain it's urban legend at best, but it's amusing.

Mighty hunterIt seems that a hunter went out deep in the woods alone. He got into some kind of trouble and lost most of his provisions. There he was, more or less lost, and it was a multi-day hike back to civilization.

Don't shoot!After four days, he was starving. He saw a bald eagle flying overhead. He still had his gun, so he shot the eagle. Then he started up a campfire and had dinner.

A day or two later, he was finally found and returned to civilization. He was also promptly arrested for shooting a bald eagle.

At the trial, his lawyer made a great case. "Your honor, this man was hungry! Four days without food! He was simply trying to survive." The judge agreed.

As the hunter was leaving the courtroom, he was approached by several reporters. He answered a few questions about the trial. The last question one reporter asked was, "What does bald eagle taste like?"
Without hesitation the hunter replied, "A lot like spotted owl."

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Code Monkey

Code Monkey loves you!
I'm mailin' it in today. :) I got nothin', so here's a link to a very silly video with a catchy song.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007


Today, as I was walking in to work, I paused at a particular intersection. The light was changing, and a van was approaching. I got a green light, the van stopped, and I stepped out to walk in front of it. The van's engine had died when he stopped, so as I walked by I could hear the driver trying to start it up again. I smiled.

Mine was dark brownI used to drive a truck that was like that. As I approached intersections, I would actually put the thing into neutral so that I could stomp on the gas and the break at the same time. The engine simply would not "idle", it would die every time.

YEE-HAW!I remember one time driving that thing across cobblestone / brick streets in Stillwater with MetaCow in the passenger seat. The uneven surface was causing us to buck back and forth considerably. MetaCow began to mock my truck, waving one arm up above his head like he was a bull rider. The truck retaliated against him by suddenly cinching up the seat belt. He was pinned to the seat so tight that he couldn't breathe. As for me, I nearly drove us off the road laughing at him.

Pepsi ChickenAnyway, in keeping with the "Random" title of this post, here's a subject change. I heard this recipe on the radio this morning, and it sounded promising. Honey, take note. :) Clickie here to see how to make "Pepsi Chicken."

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Ghost Rider Brings Out The Lawbreaker In Me

Nicolas Cage IS Johnny Blaze IS Ghost RiderThis past weekend, we went to see Ghost Rider in the movie theater. The shortie movie review is thus... terrific eye candy, overall good story. The acting, for the most part, was acceptable. Peter Fonda and Sam Elliot really stood out. They were grand. The kid who played young Johnny Blaze should go back to selling hot dogs or whatever he was doing before. Mercifully, he's not a big part of the movie.

Overall, I'd rank it somewhere between Fantastic Four and Daredevil. I liked it a lot... doesn't mean you will. :)

Turn me off before movies!Before the flick there was one of those really obvious "turn your cell phone off" type ads. It didn't work. 5 minutes into the movie I heard, "Hello? Hey, man..." from behind me. I can't figure out why people like this still exist. Why have they not been chased down and flogged publicly? In this particular case, it's because he was a big dude. If I'm going to do any flogging, I'd like to be reasonably sure I'd survive the ordeal. Instead of flogging, he got to see the Grim Specter of Scrawny White Dude stand up in front of him and whisper-shout, "Get off the phone!". I'm sure it frightened him, in a "What-the-heck-is-that-nerd-doing?" sort of way.


Later that weekend, my wife and I went out for a walk. There are some new apartments out near us, so we walked by them. My wife commented on wanting to see the insides. I tried one of the doors, and it was unlocked. "C'mon!", I said. In we went. Nice place.

Attention Deviant Citizen!Run Away!As we left, I told her, "See, that's what trespassing feels like." She was only slightly amused. As we continued our walk, a police officer drove by. "Now," I told her, "we get to see what it feels like to flee from authority."

We didn't go into any more apartments. I can't figure out why. ;)

Monday, February 19, 2007

Seven Years Old

Chuck E. Cheese... where an adult can have a migraine!My nephew's 7th Birthday party was this past Saturday, at Chuck E. Cheese's. It was everything you'd expect from such an event. It was loud, chaotic, and overwhelming. It was great fun. :)

Shorty ran up to his grandma (my mom) and handed her a big wad of tickets he'd won from one of the myriad of games they've got there. She asked him, "Which game did you get these from?" He replied: "The one that gives me all the tickets." Oh. Naturally.

People who *really* love you give you LegoMy wife and I got him some Lego's. One of the lego boxes was rounded at the top, like in the pic on the right. As he was opening it, my dad leaned over and asked me, "What... did you get him after-shave?" My wife, thinking far quicker than I, replied, "They grow up so fast."

My wife and I were the only ones to get him Lego. That's one way to look at it. You could also say that we were the only ones who didn't get him a fishing pole.

Dance Dance RevolutionDance Dance RevolutionAt one point, Shorty and his little sister (soon to be 5!) were hopping along on one of those "Dance Dance Revolution" type machines, having a grand time. They were happily bopping along, shouting and waving their arms around. It was cute, so I got out my camera and snapped a few pics.

Then, it occurred to me that my camera can also capture short videos. So I switched over to movie mode, and hit the button. Shorty and little 'Sis both promptly stopped moving around, and just stood there.

I have blurry pics of rapid motion, and a video of them standing still. It figures.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Beemer Update, Top 10

Hi all. Got a couple of shorties for you.

Very FlatFirst, do you remember the story from early January about the BWM with multiple flat tires in our parking lot?

Well, an update. After they "fixed" the flat tires, the BMW got moved to another parking space. It hasn't been driven in a month and a half. A couple of weeks ago, the front passenger tire went flat again. A few days ago, the rear driver's side tire spontaneously went flat.

Yesterday, another notice appeared on the car windshield. Apparently, apartment management is threatening (again) to tow the car / eyesore away if they don't fix the tires. I hope they actually follow through this time... last time the threat was empty.

In other news, here's this week's Top Ten Contest from David Letterman's site:

Top Ten Signs Bill Gates Is Your Secret Valentine

10. You couldn't read your Valentine card due to the 32-bit encryption scheme

9. You're invited to a romantic evening at Circuit City

8. Love notes written in C++

7. You get a card, a box of chocolates and Rhode Island

6. The Valentine's Card you received is a poor imitation of the one Steve Jobs sent out 5 years ago

5. Valentine's card asks for the password to your "inbox"

4. You get a lovely note inviting you to "help me convert my floppy to a hard drive"

3. Couldn't decide on a card, so he bought you Hallmark instead

2. Before sex, he needs to run an antivirus on you

1. Melinda Gates drives 900 miles in adult diapers to mace you

Thursday, February 15, 2007

I Shall Not Call Them White Trash

Not for use as a mechanical adhesiveCase Study One: My wife and I were driving down the highway a few weeks ago. We found ourselves behind a truck that had rear bumper issues. To be specific, the rear bumper was only attached on the passenger side of the vehicle. On the driver's side, there was a tie-down strap that was holding the bumper vaguely in place. The tie-down strap was attached somehow up at the top of the tailgate. That side of the bumper was swaying back n' forth, looking like it could fly off at any moment. We quickly changed lanes. But I shall not call the driver White Trash. Why? Read on!

It holds the world togetherCase Study Two: A week or so ago, walking in a parking lot, we passed a car with an unfortunate front passenger side door. The door was obviously not secured to the car as the manufacturer intended. In fact, the door was secured to the car with duct tape. I'm not making this up. There was a bundle of duct tape, mostly at the top of the door, which was "securing" it to the car frame. Amazing! But I shall not call them White Trash. Why? Read on!

Case Study Three: Yesterday morning, I got into my car. It was below freezing outside. When I opened the driver's side door, the latch got stuck in the "up" position. This meant that I could close my door, but it wouldn't stay closed.

I ran the heater for 10 minutes, trying to warm up the car enough that the latch would snap back down (which has worked in the past). It didn't work. Groggy from that whole *morning* thing, I couldn't come up with any good options. So I put one hand on the door handle inside, and just started driving.

Pipe Cleaner FlowersOnce I got up to a respectable speed, revelations started to happen. Things like, "Hey, I bet some WD-40 would fix this." The thought, "I did NOT just do this!" settled down for an extended stay in my head. Every little bump, every little turn, and the only thing holding my door shut was my pipe-cleaner bicep. I became concerned.

WD-40 - The Miracle JuiceThankfully, the heater did its trick, and the door latched itself shut before I got to work. I bought WD-40 during my lunch break.

Suddenly, my perspective on Case Study One and Two changed a bit. :)

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Cupcakes Of Doom

The 'cake of goodnessMy wife recently made a batch of cupcakes. Yesterday, I took some of them to work, so I could share them with folks.

Yikes!I started with Cowboy. I walked up behind his chair. I wasn't trying to be sneaky or quiet or anything, but I guess I was the unknowing embodiment of stealth. I tapped him on the shoulder and he nearly jumped out of his skin.

After the screams died down, I went over to Boss Lady and Boy Wonder. Both accepted their bounty with glee. Boy Wonder and I started chatting, and after a few moments, he said something pretty amusing. I don't remember what he said, because it was overshadowed by Boss Lady's reaction.

She was eating her cupcake when the joke was made, so she laughed and lurched forward slightly. The cupcake's icing got smeared on her face, and what was left of the cupcake itself disintegrated into her lap.

Vengence!Boy Wonder, ever the sensitive soul, tried to get a picture of this with his cell phone camera. He was unsuccessful, which is probably a good thing. I think if he had gotten a picture, his cell phone might have been stuck in a warm, dark place.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Lego: Train

OK, here's something to showcase just how much of a hopeless nerd I am (as if you didn't already know). I have discovered that there are no Lego fan-sites for people who don't own more than twice their weight in Lego bricks.

Cube SolverThere are sites showing off all manner of vast and/or complex creations. The most recent one I found is a "Mindstorms" creation that solves a Rubik's Cube.

Now, I have a relatively modest collection of stuff from when I was a kid (Well, OK, *mostly* from when I was a kid). There's no way I can build those kinds of creations. So, I went for a creation of my own that is a bit more modest.

Worth noting: Yes, I know there are Lego train sets out there you can buy. They are, in my opinion, overpriced.

Each pic below links to a larger version. You can also use this link to see the whole collection on Flickr.

In the process of doing this, I have also learned that it's hard to take pictures of a glossy black surface. :)

Train 01

Train 02

Train + CoalCar 01

Train + CoalCar 02

Train + CoalCar 03

Train + CoalCar 04

CoalCar 01

CoalCar 02

Monday, February 12, 2007

Weekend Notes...

'Twas a low-key weekend. Not much to tell.

It would be my honor...Way back in October of last year, my wife and I went to the Olive Garden, where we were served by a spastic little guy who started every sentence with "It would be my honor to...". He also spilled water on me.

Saturday, at Olive Garden, this same spaz-guy was our waiter again. It took real effort not to laugh as he went though his familiar "Hello..." speech. On the positive side, he didn't spill anything on me this time.

(A quick aside, for those who might not know... I have a long and tumultuous history with caffeine. Nowadays, I generally don't drink it more than once a day, and usually not at all on weekends. My tolerance for it is a little low.)

Coffee! Wow-ee!Sunday morning, my brain just wasn't functioning. I simply could not achieve full consciousness. So, I made a cup of coffee.

*COFFEE!* *WOW-EE*!In the afternoon, my wife bribed me into going to the store with her by offering me a trip to a nearby Starbucks. That's right, I got coffee twice yesterday! And it was *her* idea! In a related story, I haven't slept since Sunday.

Friday, February 09, 2007


Today, you get a quickie story about my niece (almost 5 years old!).

Curly SueA couple of days ago her class had a Valentine's Day program of some sort. The kids in the class all sang cute little songs n' such. My sister got her all decked out... she had a cute dress and her hair curled.

Now, my niece doesn't generally have curly hair. In fact, my mom said she hardly looked like the same kid. In my mom's words, "She was adorable. And she knew it."

Picture Taker ThingyShe walked in and said, "Hi gwammma." Mom said, "You look adorable!" And my niece, ever the shy one, said "Well, is *somebody* gonna take a picture?"

Attention, people! She's ready for her close-up!

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Other People's Pain Is Funny

Except when it's *your* pain. Then, it's just wierd. Lemmie tell ya a story about yesterday.

The Owie MakerFirst off, I hate "dress" shoes. Absolutely hate them. Even after a year of working at a real job, I'm not used to them. Those with long memories will recall several times last year that I blogged about foot pain. Well, after a brief respite, the pain has come back. My left foot hurts badly enough that I've again developed a limp.

Secondly, there is a area across the hallway from my office that has printing presses and other such print-related equipment. This machinery is almost exclusively run by employees who are of Ukrainian descent. Most of them are women. None of them speak English very well. A few are outwardly friendly, but most don't interact with us English-speakers.

Today I happened to be wandering through the break area when they were coming off duty for lunch. I walked past one, and she started to laugh hysterically.

WHAT HAPPEN TO YOU?!?This wasn't just any old laugh. This was an "Oh my goodness that's the funniest thing I've *ever* seen!" type of laugh. This was an "I sure didn't see *that* coming!" type of laugh. The woman was almost in tears. It was near impossible to hear over the noise she was making.

She pointed at my leg. Laughing voraciously through a thick Russian accent, she rumbled, "WHAT HAPPEN TO YOU?!?" "Er... it's nothing, really. I just have a spot on my foot that..." I was cut off by peals of laughter.

"Oh my goodness!..." she gasped. "I sorry! Oh my goodness! I so sorry!" She was roaring with laughter the whole time. I muttered, "It's OK," and left as quickly as I could.

Snap!I have no idea why a slight limp was so funny. She was laughing louder than I did at the mousetrap game.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Stuck In My Head

NorbitI've brought you all here today to discuss a matter of importance. I have a song stuck in my head, and I need help to get the silly thing out of there.

Have you seen the commercials for the new Eddie Murphy movie, "Norbit"? Yeah, that's right. I've got "Bust a Move" stuck firmly in my head. I've been unwillingly groovin' to that thing ever since the Super Bowl, when they played that dang commercial at every break during the pregame festivities.

It was an OK song for its time, I guess. But now I want it gone.

We all live in a yellow submarineI've tried all the tricks. I've hummed "Manamana." I've tried "Yellow Submarine." I listened to heavy metal all day yesterday. Nothing works.

Somebody please help me. Make the hurting stop.